Despite opening to the public on September 1, Rhodes Park swimming pool closed again.
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Director of sports and recreation Siyanda Mnukwa said the pool was closed due to water seepage from the pool.
The pool closed several years ago due to structural damage to the shell that was caused by soil movement.
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In 2013, the long-awaited refurbishment of the Rhodes Park swimming pool started and continued into 2014.
Also read: CoJ dives into pool upgrade
Renovations were stopped and in 2015 R1.8-million was used to renovate the pool.
The renovations included:
• Refurbishment of ablution facilities.
• Electrical upgrades.
• Painting of the interior and exterior buildings.
• Filtration pipe replacements.
• Repairs to the cracked pool shell.
• Re-tiling of pool shell.
• Roof sealing and painting.
• Repairs to the filtration pump and strainer box.
• Paving around the pool.
“The work done in 2015 did not ensure water leakage in future. The work focused on visible problems at the time and the scope of work didn’t call for an engineering inspection of the pool,” Mnukwa said.
“Cracks were fixed but these widened later. The pool is older than 60 years. It is bound to have problems and this current seepage of water from the pool is one of those challenges caused by ageing infrastructure.”
Mnukwa said an investigation will be conducted and structural engineers will assess the pool and advise on corrective measures.
“Once the engineering company is appointed, we do not anticipate the investigation to take long. However, the repair work may take longer. At the moment we are not in a position to give timelines on the investigation nor the work that needs to be done,” said Mnukwa.
Ward 66 councillor Carlos da Rocha said he is not surprised the pool is closed again as he raised concerns during the 2015 renovations.
“I highlighted my concerns to the department’s management at the time and they informed me that the pool experts said it was repaired properly and that I was not accurate with my assessments. At the time I was alarmed to see that the contractor was not capable of fixing a fish pond, never mind a pool the size of the Rhodes Park pool. The worst part is when they cut the budget for the swimming pool by half, forcing the contractor to do a ridiculous patch-up job,” said da Rocha.
“If the job was done right from the start they would not be facing these problems now. R900 000 was put aside to repair this pool. The plan was to pull out all the tiles and build a reinforced shell within the shell of no less than 100 millimetres.
“The bulk of the money was supposed to be spent on the pool structure itself and on the pump system that was old and damaged from standing idle for many years,” said da Rocha.
Mnukwa disagreed and said the 2015 renovations were done properly.
“The pool was inspected after renovations and the renovations were proper and to the best of what the pool required. The pool opened and operated afterwards. The water seepage has always been manageable but worsened during the 2016 season.”
The pool remains closed.
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